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chemurgy (kĕmˈərjē) [key], branch of applied chemistry concerned with preparing industrial products from agricultural raw materials. Among such products are plastics manufactured from casein and soybean; soaps derived from animal and vegetable fats; cellulose fiber products made from, for example, straws, stubble, cobs, and hulls; and starches derived from surplus grains. Chemurgy is a wide-ranging discipline involving chemistry, genetics, bacteriology, and physics.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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